Big Bad WolvesCultureCinemaMovie reviews
It must be said that in order to fully digest directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s gory revenge story, a strong stomach and a dark sense of humour are definitely required. Described as a “comic kidnapping thriller”, Big Bad Wolves is not humorous in any usual way.
After a series of the most brutal of murders, the vengeful father of a young girl, recently condemned to a life of emotional torture following her death, decides to inflict his own corporal punishment on the main suspect of the killings. Gidi (Tzahi Grad) is a man with nothing to lose, and this consequently makes him a very fearsome character indeed, hindered and helped through a comical series of events by vigilante cop Micki (Lior Ashkenazi). The duo take it upon themselves to interrogate religious studies teacher Dror (Rotem Keinan) in an attempt to locate Gidi’s daughter’s head.
If the synopsis doesn’t deter potential watching, then the sinister events that unfold will no doubt impede any effort to explain what is good about Keshales and Papushado’s twisted tale. The film adopts historical references to Israel’s innate longing for revenge, often passed down through generations and exemplified here with a surreal addition to the avenging pair in the form of Gidi’s father, Yoram (Dov Glickman). Suspected killer Dror doesn’t stand a chance.
Big Bad Wolves‘ ending is as fittingly obscure as the rest of it. With its dark humour, gore and suffering, and its morbid storyline, this is definitely not a movie to stumble upon. Even the Hebrew dialogue (with English subtitles) does little to conceal the depth of darkness into which the directors successfully sink their audience.
Although Big Bad Wolves contains an underlying moral question – does being a victim like Gidi give you the legitimate right to turn into a bloodthirsty vigilante? – the overall dilemma is too soaked in blood to even consider questioning. Unfortunately, the lasting impression of the film is that it is not to be recommended.
Big Bad Wolves was released in the UK on 24th August 2013.
Watch the trailer for Big Bad Wolves here: